CEBU CITY, Philippines – Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama declared a ban on all poultry products from Luzon on March 10, 2022 following an outbreak of bird flu in quail and duck farms. from Pampanga, Bulacan, Laguna and Camarines Sur.
Rama told reporters in a phone interview that the city will adopt Provincial Governor Gwendolyn Garcia’s executive order banning all poultry products and by-products.
This marching order will be immediately implemented at the city’s seaports until the mayor issues a directive providing detailed policy on the ban.
“Actually, I am very happy with the governor because we are talking about an island. We have to be concerned about that. From now on, we will adopt the measures of the province even without a directive,” Rama said.
Rama will no longer issue his own Executive Order (EO) only a directive today or tomorrow, March 10, 2022.
Dr. Jessica Maribojoc, head of the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Fisheries (DVMF) said they are waiting for the mayor’s directive as they have already banned the entry of poultry products into the city.
“No more newspapers and news in the baggage of Cebu City. Let NATO know about supermarket supervisors in public or private markets before learning more on the itlog or following NATO developments on the DVMF,” Maribojoc said.
Over the past few weeks, the DVMF has already started monitoring all poultry products in the city. These include eggs, balut, live domesticated poultry, and even fertilizer made from poultry waste.
They will also carry out inspections, swabs and tests at the few poultry farms in the city, including a quail farm in Barangay Pardo to check for bird flu.
So far, Cebu City is still free of bird flu and the DVMF aims to keep it that way.
No longer awaiting a written directive from the mayor, the DVMF informed animal quarantine officers at the ports of the ban on poultry products from Luzon.
Thus since March 8, 2022, the city has already closed its borders to poultry products from the said areas.
“Uniform lang sa ta (with Cebu). Don’t forget to add additional policies to the province. Butangan og guidelines kung asa gikan ang product kung gikan mainland Cebu, other islands, or Mindanao ba siya, mao among idungag,” the chief veterinarian said.
Even if the city closes its borders to poultry products from Luzon, Maribojoc said it will not seriously affect the city’s poultry supply.
The city still sources most of its poultry from the province of Cebu, which puts it in a stable position in terms of supply.
“It’s a good thing in nga sa province, poultry farms in daghan tag so maka sustain ra ta,” the chief veterinarian said.
The public should not yet worry about the shortage or any increase in prices, as the booming poultry industry in the province will most likely meet the demand for the whole island, Maribojc informed.
This is also why the ban is being imposed, to protect the multi-million poultry industry all over the island.
“Lugmok na gani ta sa atong pig industry, modungan pa gyod na siya. Dako kaayo na siyag impact si naa na gyod na siya. Kung infected area, auto gyod nga patyon,” Maribojoc said.
Transmissible to humans
One of the main concerns with bird flu is that it can actually infect humans, although human symptoms are relatively mild compared to those in animals.
Bird flu will manifest flu-like symptoms in humans, such as colds and coughs. In this time of a pandemic, the symptoms can even be confused with COVID although the two viruses are quite different.
Still, the city government wants to ward off this new economic threat as it has slowly reopened in hopes of bouncing back from the pandemic and recent typhoon. /rcg
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